On Nov. 8, the UC Department of Cancer Biology held its first all-day departmental retreat at the UC Reading Campus to discuss aspects of the cancer research being pursued by the various labs in the department.
The goal of the retreat was to share research ideas and strategies with the goal of translating basic science research into clinical progress in cancer treatment.
About 110 faculty members, affiliates (past department chairs, clinical research collaborators and investigators from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center) and leaders including Interim Dean William Ball, MD; UC Cancer Institute Director William Barrett, MD; Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) Director Shuk-mei Ho, PhD; and CCC Governing Board Chair and pediatrics faculty member Arnie Strauss, MD, were in attendance.
Some highlights include:
- Department Chair Jun-Lin Guan’s outline of the department and its goals. Ball, Barrett and Ho delivered introductory talks as well.
- A keynote address from Yi Zheng, PhD, director of experimental hematology and cancer biology at Cincinnati Children’s, who described his strategies for "drugging the undruggable” targets for cancer therapy and his argument that academic labs can identify lead chemotherapeutic compounds against targets deemed too difficult to tackle by pharmaceutical companies.
- A series of short talks from faculty, students and postdoctoral students. Graduate student Nick Brown from Susan Waltz’s lab was presented the prize for "Best Presentation,” titled, "The Ron Receptor as a Novel Mediator of Prostate Cancer Growth and Castration Resistance.”
- A poster session where over 20 researchers presented their work.
- An impromptu address by Carrie Hayden, community advocate for cancer research, highlighting how patients benefit from the collective research efforts at UC.
"Ken Greis, PhD, and Susan Waltz, PhD, co-organizers and faculty members in the department, did a wonderful job organizing the retreat,” says Guan, PhD, who is also a member of both the Cincinnati Cancer Center and UC Cancer Institute. "We truly appreciate all who attended and the encouraging words we received. I think that we had great interactions, and I look forward to the event next year as we further build up our cancer research strength and contribute to the UC Cancer Institute and Cincinnati Cancer Center goals.”
"I was honored to attend and was invigorated by the depth and breadth of the cancer science initiatives so well presented,” says Thomas Herzog, MD, clinical director of the UC Cancer Institute. "The event will continue to build the essential momentum for the cancer program at UC.”